New signing a cut above at North Sunderland
North Sunderland FC returned to action last weekend with the help of a new team member.
But it wasn’t a new goalkeeper, midfielder or striker who has joined the ranks of the Northern Alliance League outfit.
After receiving a grant from the Football Foundation during the recent lockdown, the Seahouses-based club have been able to purchase a new compact tractor and mower which is helping keep their Seafield Park pitch in perfect condition.
Chairman Dave Moor, who is also club secretary and groundsman, said the grant had helped them improve their ground maintenance equipment, which was purchased through local dealers Rickerbys.
“They were instrumental in helping us make the right choice for the long term,” he said. “They knew exactly what we needed.”
The club’s new compact tractor is an ISEKI TLE 3400 HR-TT, with a 38hp engine – they use it for all the maintenance and mowing work, keeping the playing and training pitches in perfect condition. Their new Major CS Pro Mower has significantly reduced the frequency of mowing passes that they used to have to operate, using their old cylinder mower. The cylinder mower struggled to handle anything over 34mm and therefore the pitches had to be mown every three days, which meant a significant level of labour input. Being a cylinder mower, it was also a high maintenance machine which increased operating expenditure and operational downtime.
“Now that we have our new mower,” said Dave, “we are cutting at an average of 42mm during the summer non-playing period and it only requires a run over every five or six days – plus the forward speed is much faster and we can cover the ground in two-thirds of the time.
“The maintenance costs are virtually zero – so we will be saving a lot of money. It’s a gearbox drive to the rotors – so no belts to adjust or fail, it leaves a perfect striped finish without scalping and what’s more it comes with a fully galvanised finish – so it’s going to do a great job and last us a long time. Setting height of cut is easy and virtually the only thing we need to check – other than daily grease-points and gear-box oil levels, are the blades – and that’s it! It’s a really simple but effective machine.